Defending champions Mumbai Indians have expressed their reservations over the change in match timings for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
Star, the official broadcasters of the upcoming season, has proposed a change in match timings. They want the evening games to start early from 7 pm which used to start at 8 pm in the last ten seasons while they want the first games of doubleheaders to start at 5:30 pm instead of the traditional 4 pm kickoff. The IPL GC had considered the request of the broadcasters in its latest meeting, but the eight franchises did not back the proposal.
In case the proposal is expected, the two matches are scheduled to overlap during doubleheaders which have left the franchises unimpressed. Mumbai Indians’ co-owner Akash Ambani insisted that his franchise is not happy with the proposal as it will affect the revenue and viewership of the game.
“For us it is tough. Because people of Bombay work till 6:30-7. It’s going to be impossible making for a game at 7’o clock. You are impacting the revenue. You are impacting the audience coming there. So we are objecting to that,” he said on Saturday (January 27).
Meanwhile, the officials of IPL governing council and the host broadcasters met on Friday to discuss the issue. Rajiv Shukla, chairman of the IPL governing council, said that “a final decision on the same will be taken soon” after considering the views of all franchises.
“The broadcaster had requested (shift in match timings) and the GC has considered it during its meeting. After that, we have received objections from a couple of franchises. Now, we will be meeting most of the franchises here. We’ll discuss with them. We’ll discuss with the broadcaster as well, and in an amicable way, we’ll find a solution. It is an administrative issue. We can sort it out at our level,” Shukla has said after Friday’s meeting.